Chopin and His World

Princeton University Press
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A new look at the life, times, and music of Polish composer and piano virtuoso Fryderyk Chopin

Fryderyk Chopin (1810–49), although the most beloved of piano composers, remains a contradictory figure, an artist of virtually universal appeal who preferred the company of only a few sympathetic friends and listeners. Chopin and His World reexamines Chopin and his music in light of the cultural narratives formed during his lifetime. These include the romanticism of the ailing spirit, tragically singing its death-song as life ebbs; the Polish expatriate, helpless witness to the martyrdom of his beloved homeland, exiled among friendly but uncomprehending strangers; the sorcerer-bard of dream, memory, and Gothic terror; and the pianist's pianist, shunning the appreciative crowds yet composing and improvising idealized operas, scenes, dances, and narratives in the shadow of virtuoso-idol Franz Liszt.

The international Chopin scholars gathered here demonstrate the ways in which Chopin responded to and was understood to exemplify these narratives, as an artist of his own time and one who transcended it. This collection also offers recently rediscovered artistic representations of his hands (with analysis), and—for the first time in English—an extended tribute to Chopin published in Poland upon his death and contemporary Polish writings contextualizing Chopin's compositional strategies.

The contributors are Jonathan D. Bellman, Leon Botstein, Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Halina Goldberg, Jeffrey Kallberg, David Kasunic, Anatole Leikin, Eric McKee, James Parakilas, John Rink, and Sandra P. Rosenblum. Contemporary documents by Karol Kurpiński, Adam Mickiewicz, and Józef Sikorski are included.

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About the author

Jonathan D. Bellman is professor of music history and literature and head of academic studies in music at the University of Northern Colorado. Halina Goldberg is professor of musicology at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and affiliate of the Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program, Slavic Languages and Literatures Department, Polish Studies Center, and Russian and East European Institute.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 15, 2017
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781400889006
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
History / Europe / General
History / Social History
Music / Genres & Styles / Classical
Music / History & Criticism
Music / Individual Composer & Musician
Music / Instruction & Study / Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Music in Chopin's Warsaw examines the rich musical environment of Fryderyk Chopin's youth--largely unknown to the English-speaking world--and places Chopin's early works in the context of this milieu. Halina Goldberg provides a historiographic perspective that allows a new and better understanding of Poland's cultural and musical circumstances. Chopin's Warsaw emerges as a vibrant European city that was home to an opera house, various smaller theaters, one of the earliest modern conservatories in Europe, several societies which organized concerts, musically active churches, spirited salon life, music publishers and bookstores, instrument builders, and for a short time even a weekly paper devoted to music. Warsaw was aware of and in tune with the most recent European styles and fashions in music, but it was also the cradle of a vernacular musical language that was initiated by the generation of Polish composers before Chopin and which found its full realization in his work. Significantly, this period of cultural revival in the Polish capital coincided with the duration of Chopin's stay there--from his infancy in 1810 to his final departure from his homeland in 1830. An uncanny convergence of political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances generated the dynamic musical, artistic, and intellectual environment that nurtured the developing genius. Had Chopin been born a decade earlier or a decade later, Goldberg argues, the capital--devastated by warfare and stripped of all cultural institutions--could not have provided support for his talent. The young composer would have been compelled to seek musical education abroad and thus would have been deprived of the specifically Polish experience so central to his musical style. A rigorously-researched and fascinating look at the Warsaw in which Chopin grew up, this book will appeal to students and scholars of nineteenth century music, as well as music lovers and performers.
Music in Chopin's Warsaw examines the rich musical environment of Fryderyk Chopin's youth--largely unknown to the English-speaking world--and places Chopin's early works in the context of this milieu. Halina Goldberg provides a historiographic perspective that allows a new and better understanding of Poland's cultural and musical circumstances. Chopin's Warsaw emerges as a vibrant European city that was home to an opera house, various smaller theaters, one of the earliest modern conservatories in Europe, several societies which organized concerts, musically active churches, spirited salon life, music publishers and bookstores, instrument builders, and for a short time even a weekly paper devoted to music. Warsaw was aware of and in tune with the most recent European styles and fashions in music, but it was also the cradle of a vernacular musical language that was initiated by the generation of Polish composers before Chopin and which found its full realization in his work. Significantly, this period of cultural revival in the Polish capital coincided with the duration of Chopin's stay there--from his infancy in 1810 to his final departure from his homeland in 1830. An uncanny convergence of political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances generated the dynamic musical, artistic, and intellectual environment that nurtured the developing genius. Had Chopin been born a decade earlier or a decade later, Goldberg argues, the capital--devastated by warfare and stripped of all cultural institutions--could not have provided support for his talent. The young composer would have been compelled to seek musical education abroad and thus would have been deprived of the specifically Polish experience so central to his musical style. A rigorously-researched and fascinating look at the Warsaw in which Chopin grew up, this book will appeal to students and scholars of nineteenth century music, as well as music lovers and performers.
Music in Chopin's Warsaw examines the rich musical environment of Fryderyk Chopin's youth--largely unknown to the English-speaking world--and places Chopin's early works in the context of this milieu. Halina Goldberg provides a historiographic perspective that allows a new and better understanding of Poland's cultural and musical circumstances. Chopin's Warsaw emerges as a vibrant European city that was home to an opera house, various smaller theaters, one of the earliest modern conservatories in Europe, several societies which organized concerts, musically active churches, spirited salon life, music publishers and bookstores, instrument builders, and for a short time even a weekly paper devoted to music. Warsaw was aware of and in tune with the most recent European styles and fashions in music, but it was also the cradle of a vernacular musical language that was initiated by the generation of Polish composers before Chopin and which found its full realization in his work. Significantly, this period of cultural revival in the Polish capital coincided with the duration of Chopin's stay there--from his infancy in 1810 to his final departure from his homeland in 1830. An uncanny convergence of political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances generated the dynamic musical, artistic, and intellectual environment that nurtured the developing genius. Had Chopin been born a decade earlier or a decade later, Goldberg argues, the capital--devastated by warfare and stripped of all cultural institutions--could not have provided support for his talent. The young composer would have been compelled to seek musical education abroad and thus would have been deprived of the specifically Polish experience so central to his musical style. A rigorously-researched and fascinating look at the Warsaw in which Chopin grew up, this book will appeal to students and scholars of nineteenth century music, as well as music lovers and performers.
Music in Chopin's Warsaw examines the rich musical environment of Fryderyk Chopin's youth--largely unknown to the English-speaking world--and places Chopin's early works in the context of this milieu. Halina Goldberg provides a historiographic perspective that allows a new and better understanding of Poland's cultural and musical circumstances. Chopin's Warsaw emerges as a vibrant European city that was home to an opera house, various smaller theaters, one of the earliest modern conservatories in Europe, several societies which organized concerts, musically active churches, spirited salon life, music publishers and bookstores, instrument builders, and for a short time even a weekly paper devoted to music. Warsaw was aware of and in tune with the most recent European styles and fashions in music, but it was also the cradle of a vernacular musical language that was initiated by the generation of Polish composers before Chopin and which found its full realization in his work. Significantly, this period of cultural revival in the Polish capital coincided with the duration of Chopin's stay there--from his infancy in 1810 to his final departure from his homeland in 1830. An uncanny convergence of political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances generated the dynamic musical, artistic, and intellectual environment that nurtured the developing genius. Had Chopin been born a decade earlier or a decade later, Goldberg argues, the capital--devastated by warfare and stripped of all cultural institutions--could not have provided support for his talent. The young composer would have been compelled to seek musical education abroad and thus would have been deprived of the specifically Polish experience so central to his musical style. A rigorously-researched and fascinating look at the Warsaw in which Chopin grew up, this book will appeal to students and scholars of nineteenth century music, as well as music lovers and performers.
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